"But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
Again death has invaded the ranks of the Singleton and Taylor families and taken away a loving son, a devoted father, a loved baby brother, a kind and patient uncle, a respectful nephew, a caring cousin and a loyal friend and classmates.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, in Inglewood, California, Kenna Allen Singleton pulled off mortal and put on immortality transitioning to his heavenly home unexpectedly following a brief illness surrounded by the daily prayers of his loving mother, sister, son, brothers, family and friends both near and afar.
Kenna Allen Singleton affectionately called “Kenna Allen” and “Keno” by his family and close friends was born to his loving parents, the late Ramon Singleton and Delores (Taylor) Singleton in Benton Harbor, Michigan, at the former Mercy Hospital, on Monday, August 1, 1960, and always made sure that his mother remembered that he was her “Baby Boy”.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ramon Singleton, one sister, Donna Lynn Singleton-Singh, his maternal grandparents, Annie Mae Taylor and Robert Taylor Sr., his paternal grandparents, Ninnie and Allen Singleton, (3) maternal uncles, Robert “Bob” Taylor, Allen Taylor and Abbott Taylor, (7) paternal uncles and (3) paternal aunts.
At an early age, Kenna was introduced to Christ as his personal Savior, but it was in the year of 2001 that he personally confessed his hope in Christ and united in Christian fellowship with the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California, under the pastoral leadership and guidance of Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, PhD.
Kenna was formally educated in the Benton Harbor Area Schools and attended Seely McCord Elementary School, the old Benton Harbor Junior High School on Broadway and was a proud graduate of the Mighty Benton Harbor High School Class of 1978 of which he was proud to be a member and never missed a reunion.
Growing up in Benton Harbor at a time when children were children, was truly the best of times. “Keno” was a gregarious, kind, humble and respectful young man with a touch of mischievousness. He had the most infectious smile and a laugh that would make even the meanest person smile. He loved scoring, laughter and trash talking and was one of the best at it and was given the name “Sir Nose” from a scoring match that he lost freshman year.
During this time of his life, the formative years that is, close friendships with were garnered; ones that lasted for a lifetime and pacts were made by them and honored until death they did part. Keno, Kevin and Reinaldo formed a bond that could never be broken and at their 40th Class Reunion, after all events were over, they got together in the DeFrance garage and laughed, cried and laughed again into the wee hours of the morning not knowing that this would be their last time together…brothers until the end.
At an early age, while participating in the CanAmer games, “Keno” developed a love for running track and carried this on into his high school years. In high school, he was one of the fastest quarter-mile runners on the team. He was proud to say that he was a member of one of the fastest, record holding, “Mile-Relay” teams in the history of Benton Harbor High School of which that record still stands today.
Upon graduation from high school, he attended Grand Rapids Junior College for two years and decided to pursue a career in the military while fulfilling his dream of going back to his beloved California. There he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served for the next 13 years, at the Dyess Air Force Base in Taylor County Texas; Bentwaters Royal Air Force Base near Woodbridge,Suffolk in England; a year in Saudi Arabia; and finally the Vandenberg Air Force Base located in California, where he received an honorable discharged.
While stationed in England, Kenna met and united in holy matrimony with his love, Penelope Jane Turner, on December 31, 1986, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and to this union, the love of his life, his one and only son Jermaine Allen, was born on August 11, 1989.
Kenna was employed as an independent contractor of maintenance and janitorial services at the time of his untimely passing where he served in the capacity of supervisor. He left an amazing impact on his employees and was well respected. He also had a love for cooking and this passion was shown in numerous venues and outings over the years as the food was enjoyed by many.
“Keno” truly loved his family and made sure that everyone knew he was the “Baby Boy”. When he would call his mother, he always started the conversation off with the words, “This Your Baby Boy”. He had a special relationship with each of his sisters and brothers and respected them and the wisdom that they would share with him throughout his life journey. He could always count on them and knew, without a doubt, that if he truly needed them, they would always be there.
He considered himself to be everyone in the family’s favorite nephew, uncle and cousin and had a special relationship with each of them, but the thing that he held closest to his heart was that of being a father to his beloved son, Jermaine. Jermaine made him complete in those moments when life got difficult. They were close and just hearing Jermaine’s voice give him purpose and resolve to continue the fight. You will always and forever be missed and loved.
Kenna will leaves precious memories in the hearts of his devoted son, Jermaine Singleton of Sawtry, England; his loving mother, Delores Singleton of Grand Rapids, MI; one beautiful sister, Ramona Singleton of Lancaster, CA; three loyal big brothers, Anthony and his wife, (Deborah) Taylor and Michael Frazier, both of Benton Harbor; Darrell and his wife (Corlis) Singleton of Grand Rapids, MI; seven caring aunts, Ida Rellis, Bernice Cain, Zenobia Coates, Lorraine Watson, Laura Franklin, Rita Taylor and Vera Singleton, best friends and brothers, Reinaldo Tripplett, Kevin DeFrance, John Wills; the mother of his son, Penny Hearns and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, family, the “Class of 1978” and his friends.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
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